IT’S Tyre Safety Month in Britain and TyreSafe, the UK’s charity dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of correct tyre maintenance and the dangers of defective and illegal tyres is asking “are you having a good or bad air day?”
In all likelihood, the answer is that you’re having a bad air day – and don’t even realise it.
That’s because more than half the tyres on Britain’s cars and vans are being driven underinflated, which increases their drivers’ chances of being involved in a tyre-related incident on the roads. The picture is probably much the same the world over – including in Cyprus.
With underinflated tyres, not only does the vehicle become more difficult to control, the amount of tyre in contact with the road can be halved, and if it isn’t touching the road properly, a tyre’s grip is compromised, meaning it takes longer to stop, especially in the wet.
Driving with underinflated tyres also runs up unnecessary bills. A tyre can wear 10 per cent more quickly if it’s 10 per cent below the manufacturer’s recommended settings and the extra effort needed to turn the wheels means the vehicle burns more fuel.
In fact, research by TyreSafe shows an extra £600 million is potentially being spent on fuel bills by drivers because their tyres are underinflated. It’s also adding to the amount of CO2 the vehicle emits.
To reduce the risks while driving and to save themselves money, drivers are being reminded during Tyre Safety Month to check their air pressures at least once a month and before long journeys.
Stuart Jackson, Chairman of TyreSafe, said: “Keeping tyres properly inflated is easy to do, keeps drivers and other road users safe, and saves money. It’s a win-win situation so it’s remarkable how many motorists don’t ensure the pressures are correct for the vehicle and the load it is carrying. Tyre Safety Month is the ideal time to start the routine of ensuring every driving day is a good air day.”
Vehicles typically have two tyre pressure settings. These will need to be adjusted depending on whether the vehicle is fully loaded or has a light load. Most vehicles have these displayed either in the fuel filler cap, the upright of the front door or sometimes the glovebox – but they will certainly be in the owner’s handbook.
Don’t forget to check the spare tyre at the same time and be sure the tread depth is above the minimum limit – and that it’s in a roadworthy condition without cuts, bumps or bulges.